Fried Oysters with Champagne Aioli

Few things go together better than oysters and champagne. This recipes looks to Weisenberger Mill cornmeal to add a bit of crunch to a buttermilk batter that manages to stay light, ensuring the oyster shines. Paired with a homemade aioli crafted with a local egg yolk and champagne vinegar, this appetizer is ideal for nibbling while sipping on your favorite brut champagne. 

April 20, 2018

Ingredients

Oysters
  • 1 dozen oysters
  • 1 cup Weisenberger Mill cornmeal
  • 1 cup Weisenberger Mill all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 4–5 dashes hot sauce
  • Oil for frying, such as canola or vegetable
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh parsley
Champagne Aioli
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil such as grapeseed or vegetable
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Instructions

Oysters:

Place the shucked oysters on a paper towel and pat dry, removing any grit. Pour the buttermilk into a medium bowl and add 1 egg along with the hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix until fully combined. Add the oysters to the buttermilk and allow to sit for 10–20 minutes. 

Place the flour, cornmeal, chili powder, paprika, 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine well and set aside. 

Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with frying oil, enough to reach 2 inches in depth. Heat to 350°F. If not using a frying thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping in a small pinch of bread. If the bread drops to the bottom of the pot the oil isn’t hot enough yet. If it quickly becomes dark brown the oil is too hot. If it sizzles and begins to lightly brown, the oil is ready. 

Working in batches, transfer 6 of the oysters from the buttermilk to the flour-cornmeal mixture. Toss until the flour fully coats each oyster and then carefully transfer the oysters into the oil. Fry for no more than 1–2 minutes, tossing midway, until the oysters are golden. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and immediately season with kosher salt. Repeat with the remaining 6 oysters. 

Champagne Aioli:

Place the egg yolk, champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard and hot sauce in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Combine the olive oil and neutral oil and slowly add to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until all of the oil has been incorporated and the aioli is smooth and creamy. If you add the oil to quickly the aioli may separate. If this happens, simply stop adding oil and whisk until combined again before continuing to slowly add the rest of the oil. 

Whisk in the parsley and add a pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper. Taste for seasoning and set aside. 

To Serve:

Plate oysters and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with champagne aioli.

Ingredients

Oysters
  • 1 dozen oysters
  • 1 cup Weisenberger Mill cornmeal
  • 1 cup Weisenberger Mill all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 4–5 dashes hot sauce
  • Oil for frying, such as canola or vegetable
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh parsley
Champagne Aioli
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil such as grapeseed or vegetable
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
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